Following a whirlwind year-end comes prime time to reflect, restore, and reset. Like you, our editors experienced an action-packed 2022 of work, life transitions, and the need to make a few updates to our wellness routines.
As we all set fresh intentions on how to care for ourselves in the new year, our team scored a sneak preview of the self-care ideas that are positioned to be trends for 2023. The Healthy @Reader’s Digest editorial team has tested and approved a few favorite self-care products to help you start your year feeling mindful, healthy, and inspired.
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Magnesium for Sleep
Melatonin has definitely caught on as a sleep aid. But here’s important insight from Los Angeles-based, board-certified holistic nutritionist Katie Bressack, INHC, AADP: melatonin can be effective when your difficulty sleeping is situational, like when you’re jet-lagged or can’t fall asleep on a Sunday night. But if your restlessness continues for a prolonged period of time, magnesium for sleep may be the more fitting supplement for you to try. “Magnesium works better than melatonin for consistent sleep,” Bressack says, adding that’s particularly true when your hormones may be in a state of flux, such as during menopause or following a miscarriage.
When our senior editor moved across the country and couldn’t seem to get her system regulated in her new time zone, she replaced melatonin with one daily 400-milligram dose of Nature Made’s Extra-Strength Magnesium, which she now takes with her multivitamin each morning. “Within a couple weeks, I found myself experiencing some of the soundest, most restful sleep I’ve had in quite awhile. I’ve continued supplementing with magnesium ever since,” she says.
In recent years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that one in three American adults don’t get enough sleep. If you’re one of them, consult with a licensed health professional to consider supplementing magnesium.
Perlecare Portable Elliptical Machine
Say you still love working out at home, but you’re not quite ready to invest in a full-sized gym elliptical machine. This small, portable, affordable elliptical from Perlecare is a great solution. “An elliptical is one of the best things to use for low-impact aerobic,” says Matthew Varacallo, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in DuBois, PA. Dr. Varacallo adds that an elliptical can be “good for bone health and good for joint health.”
And, what an easy way to get some movement. For just around $100, here’s a device that can be placed under a desk—or, our preference, used while you’re upright, watching the news, following along with a Zoom meeting, or listening to an inspiring book. You may also opt to invest in a floor-protective mat to place underneath your elliptical.
If you’re on the hunt for more no-fuss exercise equipment, check out 12 Best Small Treadmills for Home, According to Fitness Equipment Reviewers and 9 Best Exercise Bikes to Stay Active Year-Round. Also, a new year calls for fresh kicks—read up on 13 Best Walking Shoes for Foot Health, from Podiatrists.
Cirkul Bundle Builder for Hydration
You’ve heard it time and time again: Drink more water. The innovative Cirkul Bundle Builder makes hydration a more enticing pursuit than ever.
The Healthy @Reader’s Digest‘s editorial team sampled Cirkul—here’s how it works: Select either a stainless steel or glass bottle, then dive into the sea of flavor cartridges that use all-natural flavor essence and stevia as the sweetener. From fruit punch to coconut pineapple to berry pomegranate and nectarine, your thirst and your taste buds will thank you. (We were major fans of grapefruit, which called pink lemonade to mind.) Then, the really genius part: Our team loved that we were able to control how much, or how little, flavor goes into the water by using the dial setting on the lid. Note: Your Cirkul cartridge also works on other popular water bottle brands.
You’ll feel good about what you’re sipping, because the flavors don’t include artificial coloring or added sugar. So if you’re also looking to cut back on sugar—in addition to drinking more water—consider this the sweet solution you’ve been after. Is a “water craving” a thing? Well, it is now.
Cheers to sustainability and reducetarianism. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or just trying to cut back on your meat consumption, here’s something worth knowing for 2023: tofu can be good. One problem is that many people aren’t aware of one important step to prepare it, which is to squeeze the water out.
If you haven’t eaten much of this superfood, or you’re constantly refining your tofu recipes for that just-right mouth feel, a key to perfect preparation is using a good tofu press. One of our editors who’s been vegetarian since childhood says Tofuture’s tofu press ensures you have just the right amount of moisture in your tofu, making it easier to cook with, improving its texture and even making it taste better by helping it absorb the flavors of your dish. Give your diet new life in the new year by experimenting with firm, tasty tofu.
Berkey Water Filter
According to the CDC, between 2015 and 2018 US adults drank an average of 44 ounces of water a day. That fell short of the recommended amount of water you need in a day.
However, it’s tough to be sure whether your water filter is effective, and sometimes storing a filtered pitcher in the fridge is a bulky chore.
So if you’re over refilling your pitcher multiple times a day, we’ve tested the Big Berkey Water Filter. Accredited third-party labs have said the Berkey eliminates more than 200 contaminants from around 6,000 gallons water before its filter elements need replacing. Plus, thanks to its regal stainless steel finish, the Berkey water filter has a way of dressing up a kitchen. You’ll be inspired to fill up from this pretty thing and sip throughout the day.
Infusion Water Bottle
Need more hydration motivation, but on a smaller scale? Check out this genius, gallon-sized PopFlex infusion water bottle. Fill it up every morning and watch yourself meet the time-based sipping goals every two hours. It also comes with an internal fruit infuser, so you can pack your water with added nutrients and flavor.
Our favorite part? If you peel off the cover for the bottom, it doubles as an on-the-go water bowl for your pup!
Rise Indoor Garden
If growing herbs and aromatics at home is something you’ve been pondering, it is officially time to start. Plus, it’s an opportune time of year to brighten your home with some greenery.
We’ve sampled a couple of the trending hydroponic home garden systems. They all bring vibrance into your home (and how fun is it to snap off a few leaves of fresh basil when a recipe calls for it?!), but some home garden systems are simpler to maintain than others. It can be especially cumbersome if you live in a climate that requires you to scoot your garden between the indoors and outdoors when the seasons change.
Rise Gardens connect to wifi and are controlled with an app to ensure your plants receive the amounts of light and water they need to thrive. Even in winter, raise fruits, vegetables, herbs, and microgreens from the convenience of your countertop.
If you’ve never used a bidet, the experience is worth a go (so to speak). Not only will you save money on toilet paper, but you might also see your water bill go down. In parts of Europe where bidets have traditionally been used, it’s not uncommon for people to skip a day or two between showers. If you know, you know: a bidet’s ability to make you feel clean can be remarkable.
This extremely affordable, super-thin, easy-install bidet attachment from Brondell comes with a retractable nozzle, complete with a nozzle guard to help ensure every rinse is hygienic.
Also check out The 8 Best Bidet Toilet Seat Attachments to Buy. (Oh—and here’s how often you should have a bowel movement, says a gastroenterologist.)
Hume Supernatural Natural Deodorant
For years, too many cosmetic and toiletry products have contained toxins that can absorb into the bloodstream and even affect our hormones. Switching to an all-natural shampoo or moisturizer might be a no-brainer, but it can be tough to break away from a traditional deodorant that’s always worked for you.
Enter Hume Supernatural. We test a lot of natural deodorants around here, but Hume’s probiotic antiperspirant formula stood up to summertime in California—a tough test. The Amber Woods fragrance is a dream if you’re a fan of musky scents, but Hume offers an impressive fragrance variety.
Salt & Stone Squalane Facial Moisturizer
In the later part of 2022, squalane became one of the buzziest skincare ingredients out there thanks to its free radical-fighting antioxidants and rich hydration. We’ve found that Salt & Stone’s squalane moisturizer is a winning wintertime skincare cream, saturating thirsty skin with its creamy formula of wild-harvested algae extracts, seaweed and spirulina.
Thanks to their omnipresence on TikTok and Instagram, Frownies wrinkle patches are anything but old-school. Founded in 1889 by a woman who was a model and concert pianist, Frownies have become a less invasive alternative to wrinkle-smoothing methods like Botox and Dysport.
These perforated, triangular patches made of Kraft paper and a vegetable-based adhesive adhere to the face with a small splash of water and about 15 seconds of gently pressing them onto the skin. They’re commonly used to smooth lines on the forehead.
With nearly 25,000 Amazon reviews averaging four stars, there’s no arguing Frownies are popular. Many users wear them at night—but here’s a Frownies hack we love: wearing them during the work day when you don’t have meetings can significantly ease tension in your forehead from all that stress or disciplined focus. This is true even if do still rely on your wrinkle-smoothing injection.
Another secret is to use a facial roller to reinforce your Frownie application once the product is damp. This technique can help ensure the skin beneath the adhesive stays held smooth.
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